Lysichiton camtschatcense is a well-known plant in Japan where it has been used as a traditional medicine by the "Ainu" people for the treatment of acute nephritis. It is presumed that L. camtschatcense has an inhibitory effect against nephritis caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) owing to its antioxidant activities. Consequently, the antioxidant effect of L. camtschatcense extracts was assessed against Fe2+/ascorbic acid (AsA)-induced lipid peroxidation in rat kidney and brain homogenates. The antioxidant effect of the chloroform extract (CE) was more potent than that of the methanol extract (ME) for both homogenates. The antioxidant effect of both extracts was similar to those of α-tocopherol, a lipid-soluble antioxidant, and glutathione (GSH), a water-soluble antioxidant, which were used as reference compounds. Although CE showed a low radical-scavenging effect for superoxide anion radicals (O 2 •- ) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals, assessed by using an electron spin resonance (ESR) method, hydroxyl radicals (•OH) were markedly scavenged by more than 80%. On the other hand, ME showed more significant scavenging effect for DPPH radicals and O 2 •- than CE. These results suggest that the inhibitory effects of the L. camtschatcense extract on lipid peroxidation in rat kidney and brain are based on its high radical-scavenging effect against •OH, O 2 •- , and lipid-derived radicals generated from the cell membrane.
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